Each year drunk drivers seriously injure and kill thousands of people in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States. Despite valiant efforts through groups such as MADD and recent publicity, most people are not aware of the large scope of the problem. You may be surprised to learn that there are well over 1 million drivers arrested annually for drunk driving. It is further estimated that about 30 percent of fatal car crashes involve drunk drivers. This is simply too many lives torn apart and preventable deaths which could have been easily prevented.
Experienced DUI Crash Injury Attorney
The Wieand Law Firm is proud to stand up for the rights of victims of DUI accidents. We provide dedicated and individualized representation to help you and your family recover from your losses, while keeping you informed of your claim status at all times. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a DUI accident, let us handle the paperwork and litigation process so you can focus on your health and recovery.
For a confidential and free legal consultation with a drunk driving accident injury attorney call the Wieand Law Firm at 1(800) 481-5206.
Drunk Driving Civil Liability
The Wieand Law Firm believes that drunk drivers should be held accountable for their reckless conduct. Although we can’t undo the damages caused by a crash, our goal is to make the victim “whole” by seeking compensation for your losses.
In a civil action, an intoxicated driver who caused an accident is responsible for damages caused to another including:
- Noneconomic Losses
- pain and suffering
- loss of life’s pleasures
- emotional distress, embarrassment and humiliation
- loss of consortium by a spouse
- Economic Losses
- property damage
- accident related medical bills
- lost wages
- loss of earnings capacity
In addition, in Pennsylvania drunk drivers may also be subject to “punitive damages” which are meant to punish and deter reckless and wanton behavior.
If a family member is killed by a motorist driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol then you may file a wrongful death lawsuit against.
Will Auto Insurance Cover a Drunk Driver who Causes a Car Accident?
Pennsylvania motor vehicle law requires all automobiles to maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance (known as minimum coverage). In addition, motorists can select higher liability coverage limits to protect their assets if negligently cause a car accident which results in damage to someone else.
However, its common knowledge that auto insurance is rife with exclusions and exceptions to coverage. So can your auto insurance company exclude a claim for damages and injuries based on evidence that their insured was operating the vehicle while intoxicated?
No! In Pennsylvania, insurance companies are not permitted to preclude coverage of damages caused by intoxicated drivers because these exclusion clauses are against public policy. This issue was addressed by the Superior Court in the case of Donegal Mut. Ins. Co. v. Long, 387 Pa. Super. 574, 564 A.2d 937 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1989). In that case, a car rental agreement excluded insurance coverage for claims that resulted from driving while intoxicated. The court held that this exclusion of coverage for intoxicated driving was a violation of public policy. It reasoned that the insurance company should not be able to escape liability for injuries to innocent third parties.
Can a Bar or Restaurant be held Responsible for a Drunk Driving Accident?
Pennsylvania establishments that serve alcoholic beverages may be liable for damages caused by someone who was served while visibly intoxicated and causes an automobile accident. This is known as a dram shop case or dram shop liability. If you were injured in a drunk driving crash you should always consult with an experienced dram shop attorney to investigate whether there is a valid claim against any bars, restaurants or liquor stores that sold alcohol to the motorist prior to the accident.
If you were hurt by a drunk driver, don’t be a victim twice. Call the Wieand Law Firm today at 1(800) 481-5206. We are based in Philadelphia, PA, and pleased to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our firm offers a free consultation to anyone injured by an intoxicated driver, no matter the circumstances, and without further obligation.
Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.